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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. (2013) New.

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01:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 760 (FOX NEWS HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1280

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720

TOPIC FREQUENCY

U.s. 19, Us 6, Pentagon 6, Mali 6, Sandy 5, Obama 4, Pennsylvania 4, Mick Mulvaney 3, United States 3, Larry 3, Butler 3, Washington 3, France 3, New York 3, Afghanistan 3, Schumer 2, Superstorm Sandy 2, Wendell Goler 2, South Carolina 2, Clinton 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret  
   Baier.  (2013) New.  

    January 15, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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[ screaming ] >> eric: okay. look at the size of the tarp. that is a big fish. he has that guy's whole arm. >> andrea: when animalles attack. >> eric: moral of the story, keep your hands away from the -- >> dana: that lady is screaming like a girl. >> andrea: that is why i never go fishing. >> eric: bobadoodle you're up. >> bob: you rememberbe when the national rifle association came out with the wonderful press conference that said we have to look in to the violent video games. you know what? the nra decided to distribute free to everybody, four years and older this video game that just came out shooting coffins with rifles. with handguns. isn't that good, wayne? why don't you get your public relations straight. if you call for investigating video gims that are violent, then take yours off the market. you get money off of it. that tells you everything you need to know about the nra.
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>> eric: bob is wound up tonight. that's it for "the five." >> bret: should a government drowning in a sea of red ink take on more help to victims of the superstorm sandy? that is a battle right now on the floor of the house of representatives. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ good evening. i'm bret baier. right now, behind me, the house is engaged in a battle that serves as a microcosm for epic struggle of the nation's soaring debt. on one side, the president, democrats and some republicans from the region affected who want to spend billions helping storm victims. on the other, other republicans who say much of the money many this latest bill is targeted elsewhere. and that any funds should be offset with cuts.
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chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel has update tonight from capitol hill. good evening,be mike. >> reporter: good evening. with debt and spending expected to be the major fight for much of the year, today it is disaster relief money for the northeast following sandy. that is in the middle of the struggle. >> tragedy like hurricane sandy shouldn't be used as an excuse for a grab bag of spending having nothing to do with emergency relief. >> many northeastern lawmakers reject that and say their constituents pay the fair share. >> these three states, new york, new jersey and connecticut, these three states pay almost 16% of the taxes collected in the united states of america. >> some house conservatives favored amendment offered by south carolina mick mulvaney to pay for $17 billion in disaster relief cutting discretionary spending across the board by 1.63%. >> it's important to me that the money goes to the folks
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who need it very badly. it's so important to me,be that i think we should pay for it. >> the amendment failed. key new york democrat says paying for disaster relief cutting elsewhere would be a first. sandy victims should get their aid. >> i wantbe to repeat this point again. united states of america we respond to disasters. all americans respond to disasters. we don't ask for off-sets. >> with the nation's debt at $16 trillion and counting, conservatives say it isn't about bashing the northeast. it is about saving the country. >> we have to get this under control. most conservatives believe we have to come to a point where we stand and fight. i hope this is the time. >> after president obama said it would be irresponsible and absurd for republicans to insist on spending cuts in order to raise the debt ceiling and key senate republican says mr. obama doesn't get it. >> you have a kid that keeps a credit card loaded and a person that would tear up the
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credit card but you look at the credit. republicans are willing to pay for past bill but this is about the future bill. the president misses the point here. >> reporter: today, house democratic whip steny hoyer said new revenue must accompany spending cuts. for day, the final passage is expected in the house in the next hour or so. bret? >> bret: mike, we will follow that on fox. thank you. ominous note now from one of the world's top credit agencies. fitch rating says the u.s. could lose the top credit rating if there is a delay in raising the debt limit. we'll find out with the senior political analyst brit hume thinks about this. good evening. >> good evening. the warning from the fitch rating agency today is certainly will become talking point for president and democrats who claim the republicans are using the debt ceiling recklessly as leverage for spending cuts. worry over the debt ceiling is only a part of the reason for the fitch warning. the agency said even if the
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ceiling is raised it would likely downbegrade anyway if there is no "credible medium term deficit reduction plan." you will recall that standard & poor's did downgrade the u.s. debt last august after the debt ceiling was raised amidst 11th hour suspense. it was blamed on bringmanship to use the debt creeling to get spending cuts. s&p did cite the melodrama as part of the reason but placed emphasis on the view that the debt ceiling deal fall short in what our view would be necessary to stabilize the government median term debt dynamics. translation, the debt ceiling deal didn't do enough about the debt itself. so keep this in mind when you hear it said,be with great certainty it's the republicans trying to force spending cuts over endangering the nation credit rating. as will rogers quoted once, "it isn'tbe what we don't know that gives us trouble. it's what we know that ain't
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so." bret? >> bret: the president has effectively turned the messaging around. by saying it's about paying the bills that congress has already passed. the laws that it's already passed. republicans are saying it's about borrowing authority. essentially running up the country's credit card. >> exactly. what the republicans are saying is look, we maxed out the credit card. it's time before we extend any new credit or allow any new credit to do something aboutbe the spending that got us here. that would seem on the surface to be a reasonable argument. but so far, the republicans have not been able to win it. and what tends to happen in the fights when you get all of this late hour melodrama as we have had in the last couple of times and people are close to shut down of the government or other drastic consequence, people bring the congress. in this situation they blame republicans. >> bret: if the ratings agencies put out statements saying that the concern is about the debt -- >> right. >> bret: that changes the dynamic.
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>> yes. if that gets reported. what tends to get reported is what they say about the debt ceiling melodrama. and not about the debt. that is what it's been so far. >> bret: thank you. >> you bet. u.s. companies increase their three-tenth of a percentage point. home prices rose .3 of a point in no.. year to year rise was 7.5%. largeest in six-and-a-half years. retail sales were up half a point. in december. the dow was up today, 27-1/2. the s&p 500 gained two. the nasdaq lost 7. gun rights advocates are bracing for the worst tonight. president obama will announce tomorrow morning what he intends to do about gun violence including which of almost two dozen possible executive orders he will implement. here is white house correspondent wendell goler. >> reporter: aides say the president and vice president will propose things we can do as a nation to protect innocents from gun violence and will joined by children around the countrybe who wrote the president letter ins the
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wake of the tragedy expressing concern about gun violence and school safety along with their parents. >> mr. obama called this the worst day of the presidency. but this inflames his critics. mr. biden has legislative proposals and things to do on their own likebe cracking down on people who buy on background checks or ordering tougher penalty for gun trafficking. and helping states do better job of mental health reporting. the president said he isn't focused on the impact of the gun proposals. >> will all of them get through the congress? i don't know. >> majority leader harry reid says he won't ask the democrats in the senate to vote on measures likely to be rejected by the republican controlled house. >> virginia republican congressman committee will
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consider the gun proposal makes clear he will be a tough sell. >> this is a very important constitutionable right. we are dedicated to proect the secondbe amendment. >> they oppose the been a on assault weapon and the high capacity magazines likely to be among the president's proposal. meanwhile, the newtown shooting prompting action at the state and local level. in california, gun buy-back program ran out of cash in the first half hour. albany, new york, bipartisan group passed a gun control law in the nation and governor andrew cuomo immediately signed it. >> we saw, we learned and responded and we acted. doing something about it. >> we are not victims. >> he hopes it will persuade reluctant member of congress. but with the lawmakers focused on the debt he may find it hard to get their attention. bret? >> bret: wendell goler, live in the north lawn. thank you. coming up later at the bottom of the hour, we will go to a
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small town in pennsylvania where officials are taking steps to protect students. for the second time, the house members opened the session with reading of the constitution in entirety. republicans and democrats took part including the second amendment dealing with the events. we go to break tonight with some of that. >> congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people to assemble and petition the government for redress of grieve venss. amendment two, a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of the free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. [ male announcer ] ahh... retirement. sit back, relax, pull out the paper and...what!!?? an article that says a typical family pays $155,000 in "wall street" fees on their 401(k)s?
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>> bret: in international news, pair of explosions rocked the main university in syria's second largest city today. activists say at least 80 people were killed in aleppo. the blast occurred near the university's dormitories. it's unclear whether they were caused by bomb set off by rebels or shells fired by government forces. diplomats say a new round of nuclear talks between iran and six world powers could still happen this month. meanwhile, a team of united nations inspectors left for tehran. it's hoping to gain access to a particular military site there. the u.n. nuclear agency wants to resume the investigation in the country's alleged nuclearbe weapons program. france says it will double the number of troops deployed to mali in coming days. the northwest african-american nati battleground against islamic extremists. the u.s. defense secretary says the president will not be sending american troops there. national security correspondent jennifer griffin is at the pentagon tonight. >> reporter: less than two years after the french asked
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for u.s. help in overthrowing muammar gaddafi in libya, the french president has asked the u.s. military to help them fight again. this time, in the north african country of mali where al-qaeda appears to have set up a new base. >> we have a goal. [ inaudible ] >> reporter: the u.s. provided intelligence that the french military needed for bombing need this weekend. attempt to keep rebels infiltrated from marching toward the capitol. some analysts call mali a flat afghanistan. defense secretary leon panetta was asked during a visit to portugal if the u.s. is heading in to another war. >> there is no consideration of putting in the american boots on the ground at this time. we have commended the french for this effort to try to go in to mali. to stop the aqim.
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the terrorists. and members of al-qaeda. >> the state department explained what the u.s. military has been asked to provide. >> we are looking hard today at the air lift question,be helping them transport forces from france and from the area in to the theater. >> the u.s. spent half a billion dollars in north africa to prop up the local military and counter terrorism. some in the pentagon wantbe to know why the u.s. didn't get a better return on the money. u.s. specialbe forces were in mali until recently. a year ago, captain in the malian army trained at various bases in the u.s. surprised his american mentors by orchestrating a coop, opening the way for al-qaeda-linked rebels in northern mali. >> the fact is that the war on terror continuebes. >> even though in the campaign,be the administration and president repeatedly said al-qaeda had been decimateed. bret? >> bret: jennifer griffin live at the pentagon. thank you. good news tonight in the
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effort to get severely disabled veterans hired in the civilian workforce. wounded warrior careers said 70% of the vets it works with have either been hired or are training for a new career. >> we severely wounded warriors, do bring something to the table. i mean they have leadership experience. they have things that many, many youngsters across the country don'tbe have. we think it's a win for everyone in the community. >> bret: now, some disturbing news about current members of the military. we told you last night about some shocking statistics regarding suicides. tonight, senior national correspondent john roberts goes inside the tragic numbe numbers. >> just as the pentagon thought it was making headway on the military suicide, a troubling reversal. 349 active duty service members took their lives in 2012. sharp increase from the previous year's 301. >> more veterans to suicide, to combat. that should outrage all americans. if there was an enemy weapons system kill 300 troops a year
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we'd figure out how to eliminate that enemy. >> the mill their tried to address the problem. every branch has a comprehensive suicide prevention program. >> how many of you in here know of someone who committed suicide? >> after remaining relatively flat for three years in t number of suicides spiked to record highs. >> it's a constant struck to understand the riskbe factors at play. we are dealing with the post dramatic stress, dramatic brain injury. service members on tremendous prescription medication, with multiple surgeries. >> general peter corelli, vice chief of staff said it's a difficult issue to fully understand. >> i happen to believe that the department of defense is doing everything they possibly can to get this under control. i'm not apologetic for them or anything else. i just know that everybodybe wants to get this fixed. >> but the problem is we just don't know enough about how the brian works. >> veterans groups insist the pentagon's efforts are overwhelmed by the here is
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number of troops and too few mental health counselors. >> the president has to get involved. days of excuses and not knowing about the problem are over. if he has to launch a presidential commission, then do it. put the full force of the country behind supporting the men and women in uniform we are losing at a shocking rate. >> but he points to another troubling issue. half of the suicide report he reviewed every year for four years were about soldiers who had gone through mental health counseling and still took their lives. >> bret: thank you. senator chuck schumer says he will back the president's choice, chuck hagel, as the new head of the pentagon. the new yorkbe democrat met with the former republican senator monday at the white house. schumer then met with president obama and said hagel's comments about israel were a critical factor in winning his support. schumer was seen as a possible roadblock to hagel's confirmation. businessman donald trump is inserting himself in israeli politics. trump made a video endorsing benjamin netanyahu. and his party ahead of the
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general elections next week. still ahead, pennsylvania school district takes matters in its own hands to fight gun violence. first, is your federal government putting the mob-like squeeze on a private citizen? look what mommy is having. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle.
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>> bret: a story now what is called shakedown and extortion but not something out of "the sopranos." in the regulation nation report, correspondent shannon bream tells us it is your federal government that is accused of mob-like tactics. >> because much of this parcel of florida land was designated as a wetland after they bought it, fight to develop a portion of is it raging for 20 years. they offered the government 11
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of the 15 cake acres to develop the rest. but the government suggested additional requirements. including the point that he pay to enhance 50-acres of wetland miles away. he refused the deal and sued. hi since passed away and his government is leading the legal fight. >> the government can be a creeping blob. absorbing your rights. hopefully that will put a halt to that. >> not necessarily. one of the most conservative members, justice antonin scalia said he had trouble seeing this under the philadelphiphiladelphiafifthame. as he thinks this is the classic example of unlawful taking asking why the government can force you as a condition to using your property to the highest and best use to pay them money. supporters of the government position say that is part of
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the deal. >> that is the pointbe that hopefully the court gets right in this, that the government has to have the ability to make developers pay forien win cost of development imposes. >> unable to develop the land but still left with a hefty tax bill the family wound up selling the property. a decision is due by june. >> bret: we have new information tonight op how pervasive cyber attacks have been to a particular american industry and who might be behind them. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge joins us. good evening. >> good evening. head of the house intelligence committee who has been briefed on the scale and intensity of the cyber attacks targeting the u.s. banks tell us the data points to tehran. >> we know it has this capability and size. >> previously unknown group to identify itself as the cyber fighters is suspected in
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denial of service attacks characterized by an unusually slow network response or website that is unavailable. it does not involve the theft of data or money. change of events began in mid-august when the saudi arabian oil company aramco the largest exporter of crude oil was attacked with 30,000 computers affected. month later in days of the 9/11 attack in benghazi and anti-u.s. demonstrations in if middle east, second wave unfolded against major u.s. banks. >> the timing is very definite. it was post-9/11. it was to make a statement. it was, it was to inflict dysfunction, if you will on the banking industry of the big heathen west, the united states. >> cyber legislation got bipartisan support in house but failed in the senate. adding the white house should have shown more leadership on the issue. the congressman says is it the pressing piece of legislation.
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the homeland security and national security agency are working with the banks. >> bret: thank you. secretary of state hillary clinton will testify about the terrorist attackbe on the outpost of libbia, january 23. a week from tomorrow. this will be the third hearing in the assault. another example of do as i say, not as i do from president obama perhaps. and how one of the authors of obamacare is going to make big bucks. off obamacare. (dog) larry,larry,larrryyy. why take exercise so seriously,when it can be fun? push-ups or sprints? what's wrong with fetch? or chase? let's do this larry! ooh, i got it, i got it! (narrator) the calorie-smart nutrition in beneful healthy weight... incles grains and real chicken, because a healthy dog is a playful dog. beneful healthy weight. find us on facebook
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>> bret: now, freshbe pickings from the political grapevine. case of the revolving door that might get your blood boiling. the "washington examiner" reports the man mo helped craft obamacare regulation on insurers will now make a lot of money by suing insurers, based on those regulations. jay angoff is returning to a washington based law firm after three years as the first director of obamacare insurance implementation. the examiner notes the trial lawyer situation is a subset of the broader dynamic. and any congressional staffer or administration official makes himself more valuable to an industry by increasing government's role in that industry. the daily caller found some eyebrow-raising expenses of former presidents that you are paying for. bill clinton wired at least
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ten televisions in his offices to a premium suite of content from directv including hbo, cinemax and showtime for $185 a month. jimmy carter put two of the office televisions on the dish network. good for $650 in programming last year. although these expenditures are consistentbe with current law it's worth pointing out that mr. clinton earned $90 million for speeches since leaving office. and mr. carter has taken in at least $7 million from 14 books he has written. president clinton is called out for statement at consume electronic show. he said half of all mass killings in the united states occurred since the assault weapons ban expired, half of the history of the country. "washington post" fact-checker looked to a recent book that identified the mass public servings defined as
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more victims killed publicly in 24 hours. since 2005 when the assault ban expired there have been 32. in other words about 20%. finally, president obama spoke out for equal pay for men and women in the workforce but his own white house does not live up to the standard. the administration annual report to congress indicates while women comprise half of the 468 staffers they make 13%be less on average than the male counterparts. many people mock the nra response to last month's armed shootings. they suggested armed guards in school. they report from western pennsylvania tonight that no one is laughing there. >> butler county pennsylvania, north of pittsburgh, after 27 were left dead at connecticut school, the rural steel town has armed state troopers
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guarding the 14 public schools. >> the first reaction is to keep the kids at school safe. it's a sad reality we need to think of that. we need to provide the support we need to try to avoid this. as much as we can. >> butler had approved armed security before the last month slaughter in connecticut and accelerated it afterwards. >> whether we're right or wrong, whether he the whatever it takes to protect the children. >> one in five pennsylvania school districts approved armed guards. similar to nationwide. some are considering whether to arm teachers, too. any weapon in a school could create new risks. >> until i see more evidence that we have a risk going on with people bringing weapons in, metal detackbors can't take care of i'm not ready to put guns in the schools. >> nationwide, 99% of schools require visitors to check in.
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others monitor or lock doors. they have happened in butler for here's, too. 13-point jump from a year ago. pew research poll said 51% think it's more important to control gun ownership. 45% say it's important to protect gun rights. maryland democratic governor martin o'malley eyeing 2016 white house run wants to add fingerprinting to background checks and safety courses for purchasers. in the monday news conference, the president said of the childrenbe -- >> we have to do everything we can to protect them from the horrors of gun violence. >> there are 100,000 public school districts across the country and in more than 10,000 of them there have been armed security guards and/or police officers patrolling the halls.
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barbara boxer suggested through recommendation of president and vice president they would consider federal funding for those wanting to undertake armed security to protect the kids. >> we're awaiting the president's recommendations tomorrow. the fight over sandy relief as it relates to the debt debate, the house is taking it up now as we speak. we'll discuss with the fox all-stars when we return. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth.
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"pork" and unnecessary provisions are just plain wrong. >> i want this money to go where it is so desperately needed. but the time has come and gone in this nation when we can walk in here one day and spend 9, 17,be $60 billion and not think of who is paying for it. >> bret: right now, behind me, the house of representatives is debating the next sandy, superstorm sandy relief aid bill. billions of dollars of relief. and the battle is over whether it should be paid for. how much it should be. and whether, how this effects the overall debt standing for the u.s. it's a heated battle as you just saw from the day's debate. we expect a final vote tonight. sometime between 7:30 and 7:45. you can see the result here on fox. let's start here and bring in the panel. steve hayes for the "weekly standard."
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juan williams, columnist with the hill. syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. okay, steve. we saw earlier an amendment offered by south carolina's mick mulvaney to pay for $17 billion in disaster relief was shut down. now there is another effort to scale back the overall packag package. what about this debate and how it's playing out? >> it's a good debate. what we saw with the mulvane amendment was telling. republicans were voting 2 to 1 in favor of the amendment which would have taken the $17 billion and offset it by making $1.6% cut to discretionary spending across the board. that is a perfectly reasonablebe proposal. most republicans voting for it. what is discouraging you got so little real attention from democrats and it was criticized so heavily in such, i think a demagogic manner by some other republicans. you had hal rogers,be chairman
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of the house appropriations committee suggest that the cuts, 1.6% of discretionary spending, those cuts would be devastating slash and burn cu cuts. that is false. it wouldn't be. we can have a debate, long-term debate how we want to stricture disaster relief funding but it's appropriate for house republicans and mick mulvaney and others to say if we're going to provide the pun -- there was never a question they would provide the money -- we ought to have a conversation how they would do it. >> bret: looking live at house floor. series of votes before you get to the final vote here, juan. you have obviously some republicans from the region that are fighting for the whole bill. entire package. say they they make up 16% of the taxes collectle in the country.
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all the different argument. what about the concern over the country's fiscal situation. and how it factors in to this particular disaster relief bill after the house passed the $9 billion relief bill, the first tranche of relief the last two weeks. new jersey governor chris christie criticized for the delay to this point. thenate doing something two weeks ago. it seems to me that the criticism it's a blunt instrument. 1.6% of discretionary spending lop it off and throw it away. if you look at priest proposals, doing away with the legal services and you think wait a minute. there is a political agenda here being pursued by people who want to do away with the
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discretionary spending. the comeback has been this is the first time. you have never had a situation where disaster relief has been attached to, the compensatory cuts in the rest of the budget. >> bret: right. that is a fair point. they makebe is that to tie all of this together has not happened before. it didn't happen in katrina and it didn't happen in other storms. there wasn't a concern in all of these other storms about the level of pork in any of those. >> all of that is true. >> but i think there was an obvious compromise. yes, this would be the first
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time you have an offset. thus, it would look unfair. why don't we agree that in this particular case there will be no off-set but from now on,be because before we were not $16 trillion in debt. we are now. before we had a triple-a rating. now we don't. before we didn't see what was happening in europe and what is going to happen to the united states. now we do. circumstances are difference. yes, you don't want to be tough or too tough on the sandy victims. why not have a provision in the law from now on, all emergency spend willing be off-set? that way people will not feel in northeast they were picked on. they will be responsible. when juan says a cut of 1.5 cents on the dollar is doing away with discretionary spending you get a sense of how completely out of control we are. this isn't about cutting
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spending that obama and the democrats won't think about. this is adding on spending wantonly. >> bret: this is what fitch has said this week aboutbe the credit rating situation ahead of the the debt ceiling debat debate. in the abbe sense of medium term deficit reduction plan consistent with sustaining the economic recovery and restoring confidence in the long run, sustainability of the u.s. publicbe finances the current negative outlook on triple-a rating is likely to be resolved with a downgrade later this year. even if another debt ceiling crisis is averted. steve? >> of course it is. we are added to the debt at unprecedented pace. of course, the agencies that exist to provide ratings on our debt are going to tell us that we will be downgraded. you have to have a discussion in the broader context.
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this is why the things are different when you talk about $17 billion in this particular mulvaney amendment. it is not a ton of number. in the context of $1.2 trillion debt. but you to have the discussions about the $17 billion. it's not out of line to suggest that a 1.6%be off-set is reasonable. >> bret: i will say one thing aboutbe the debt ceiling debate quickly. president obama yesterday and then jay carney back in 2011 two different takes but the same message. >> congressional republicans refuse to pay america's bills on time, social security checks and veteran benefits will be delayed. we might not be able to pay the troops. or honor contractbes with the small business owners. >> social security checks or veteran benefit, it's clear the effect will be significant. so, you know, no, we can't
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guarantee if there were a default. any specific bill will be paid. >> it's pretty stark when you see that, you know, from 2011 and then yesterday. the specific threats made when treasury department makes decisions what bills will be paid. >> but you have to believe that the treasury secretary works for president obama and the white house, highly political decision. decisions would have to be made with priorities. i don't think there is getting away from that. >> social security and veteran checks would bebe on one of the top -- >> well, no, but then this comes backbe to what president obama said at the press conference yesterday. when he was saying you know what? republicans have the power to shut down the government. i think president obama from his political point of view wants to get republicans blamed. i don't think there is any question. take steps to be most difficult for republicans to escape. at the moment, congress rating in the tanks.
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n.f.l. referees are more popular. >> bret: playing a political game. last word, charles. >> if we keep spending like this we will have a president in a few years that will stand up and say we are unable to pay social security, or the military or benefits. and not because of self-imposed crisis on a debt ceiling but we will be out of money. that is what the republicans are trying to avert. the president is playing this likebe a demagogue notto pretend we don't have a debt issue. we do. that is hanging above us and what will destroy the credit rating in the end. not a crisis we create and then get around as we have in the past. but a real one of a country that cannot pay its debt anymore. which is where we are headed. >> bret: next up is the u.s. getting involved in a another war on terror in mali? b
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mali has been taken over, the northern part of mali bewailed type individuals. we have want to see progress throughout the middle east with mali having north mali taken over by al-qaeda and syria having assad continuing to kill, murder his people, this is a region in tumult. >> bret: remember that? mitt romney at the debate mentioning mali. some people made fun of him for mentioning mali. now, the french are launching an operation to go after al-qaeda in the african country, north african country of mali where al-qaeda appears to have set up a base. the u.s. is not sending troops in. back with the panel. charles? what about the french action?
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>> people do in the realize the degree the french never gave up their empire in africa. the british left, portuguese left, and french ostensibly granted independence in the '60s. but the countries have had a dozen of them, french is the official language. a lot of them have garrisons this week when the french attacked. they launch attacks against the islamicbe rebels who were about to march o on capital. they were able to have assets because chad to the east, french aircraft and senegal on the west. ,-french colony had garrison of troops that went to mali. the french looks at this the way we used to look at latin america as a monroe doctrine. they will not allow others;be particularly, islamists to take over. it's near europesy. a threat. it's afghanistan. without the mountains. that is why i think what is happening is as it should. the french are taking the lead. we were dallying for weeks
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about organizing a force of africans. which would have begun in the fall. all of this is happening rapidly. we ought to do is not send any troops, we should be giving as much logistic support as we can. report in the "times" we are thinking about whether we should give capacity of the french airplanes to refuel. i think it's a gimme. of course we should do that. it's a country that matters. we can't allow a new al-qaeda country in the middle of africa. >> juan? >> i couldn't agree more. i think this is the new face of al-qaeda. we have had arguments on this panel about, you know, the president's assertion that al-qaeda has been decimate an we always come back to the idea we can argue whether it's centralized al-qaeda or these the new offchutes. mali as it stands right now is positioned to become breeding ground for terrorism in this
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world. that's why you have president obama on the phone with the president of france, offering support saying it's the right thing to do. the question becomes how much we do. you hear from secretary of defense panetta we have no intention of putting boots on the ground. >> i think it highlights a flaw in the basic u.s. approach to al-qaeda. in the obama administration. we have taken a top-down approach that focuses on al-qaeda central. which has been pretty effective. but what we haven't done is paid enough attention to the growth of the affiliates. so the same time we are focusing on the leadership in afghanistan and pakistan,be taking the top-down approach, they are growing from the bottom up. they are expanding, they have armies and equip in the mal that i shall has migrated from libya. this is what happens i think when the united states doesn't take its involvement in the wars seriously. >> bret: bigger role or not? >> bigger role. >> bret: bigger role or not? >> yes, here. >> only logistical. >> bret: that is it for the panel.
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